Hundreds of foreign fighters killed in Ukraine – Russia
Up to 300 foreigners fighting for Kiev against Moscow have been killed in Nikolayev Region in southern Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed on Saturday.
“Up to 300 militants were eliminated by a missile attack on the point of temporary deployment of foreign mercenaries in the area of the village of Kalinovka, Nikolayev Region,” the ministry’s spokesman, Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov, announced during his daily briefing.
A large number of foreign combatants have reportedly lost their lives fighting for Ukraine. Earlier this week, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu claimed that Russian forces and the militias of the Donbass republics had eliminated more than 2,000 foreign mercenaries.
As of September 21, 1,000 foreigners remained in the ranks of the Ukrainian military, according to the minister, whereas in April the number was estimated at 3,000. Saturday's strike would leave only 700, by those calculations.
Russian forces also killed more than 200 Ukrainian troops in Nikolayev Region, and almost as many more in Kharkov Region and in the Donetsk People’s Republic, Konashenkov further announced.
The military spokesman also revealed during the briefing that in the vicinity of the village of Sergeyevka, in southeastern Dnepropetrovsk Region, a Russian fighter shot down a Ukrainian MiG-29 that had been “converted to use American HARM anti-radar missiles.”
Since the launch of the Russian military operation in Ukraine in late February, Moscow has been warning Western countries to stop “pumping up” Ukraine with weapons, arguing that it would only prolong the conflict. However, in the wake of Russia’s recent announcement of a partial mobilization of reservists, Kiev’s supporters, including the US and UK, have pledged to sustain or increase their military assistance to Ukraine.
On Friday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky admitted that his country’s forces have been suffering at least 50 casualties a day.
He claimed, however, that the Russian side was losing several times more. Zelensky’s comments came soon after Shoigu’s announcement that Russia’s forces have lost 5,937 troops since the beginning of the military offensive. According to the minister, the losses on the Ukrainian side were ten times higher, at an estimated 61,000 soldiers dead.